Do you want to own a food franchise without feeling pangs of guilt for ravaging the environment, cruelly slaughtering animals and feeding poisonous pseudo-food to blue-collar customers? When foodies think of franchise or chain fast food, without even eating it, they get heartburn. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fast food need not be unhealthy and disgusting. In fact, it can be downright socially conscious, not to mention tasty! Take a look at these examples.
Panera, a bakery-café with over 1200 locations in North America, won fawning praise from Health Magazine for its delicious hormone-free chicken, whole-wheat bread and organic yogurt. As of 2012, the company allowed customers to view each menu item’s nutritional statistics. Even more startling: It isn’t often that a fast food franchise is spoken of in non-derogatory terms by the members of the foodie site, Chowhound.
Vapiano offers good quality Italian food served quickly, at reasonable prices, with an upscale atmosphere. Customers are treated to a full salad bar, hand-made pizzas, pastas, and other typical Italian restaurant options. Everything is made to order and the greens are grown on-site. In my experience, the pasta tends not to be overcooked (unlike so many American-Italian chains) so your digestive system won’t dissent. Be warned: If you come here too often, you may become addicted to their fresh pesto sauce; at $8.95 for a substantial portion of penne pesto, you can’t go wrong.
Native Foods Café
Native Foods Café is a chain, not a franchise – so each location is operated by the parent company. So does this mean that its evil corporate overlords will make brutal, unethical business decisions, unlike a more grassroots franchise owner? Not at all! The Native Foods Café’s website proudly advertises “our passion for fresh food, animals and the environment.” You won’t feel any guilt if you eat, here – but does the food taste good?
Urbanspoon and Yelp reviews are exceptionally high. Menus vary substantially by location, along with available local food sourcing options but in each case, the food aims to please vegans and non-vegans. They also host cooking classes and other events aimed at generating excitement about Native food and culture. Clearly, this is a labor of love.
The lesson here is that when you’re choosing a franchise, be sure it’s a brand that is consistent with your values and passions as you’ll have to spend an inordinate amount of time immersed in every detail. There’s plenty of franchise options out there, so invest the time to find the right one for you. For example…
If you’re a food and pet lover, why not combine your interests by running a pet food store franchise? Pet Planet, a Canadian franchise expanding into the US, is a perfect choice. It’s a mother-and-daughter business with a lot of heart. Human beings need healthy, delicious food to lead healthy lives and pets are no different. It has taken a long time for humanity to learn about the importance of nutritious food, so it is a tremendous but important challenge to apply the same compassion to our pets. Pet food sold in most grocery stores includes plenty of “fillers” – meaningless, non-nutritional ingredients that can satisfy a pet in the short term but do not provide the healthy boost your pets need.
Owning a Food Franchise Might be Right for you
In short, “franchise” doesn’t have to be a dirty word, even if you’re a foodie concerned about our food supply chain. There are plenty of food franchises and chains that combine quality food with ethical business practices. In fact, since successful franchises are so easily scalable, you should feel proud to be part of something that is making people happy and making a profit.